Antidote Proposed for Rise of Sects and Sense of Despair

Pope Calls for New Evangelization

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The growth of fundamentalist sects and of a sense of hopelessness in contemporary society imply for the Church a call to the "new evangelization," says John Paul II.



This phenomenon, typical of "modern societies," is due to the fact that "large portions of the population find themselves in desperate situations often leading them to seek quick and easy solutions to complicated problems," the Pope said Monday when he met with the last group of bishops from India on their five-yearly visit to Rome.

"This sense of hopelessness may explain, in part, why so many people, young and old alike, are attracted to fundamentalist sects offering short-lived emotional fervor and an assurance of wealth and worldly achievement," the Holy Father said.

In his address to the Indian bishops, the Pope explained that the Church's response must be the new evangelization.

"The success of this depends on our ability to show people the emptiness of such promises, while convincing them that Christ and his Body share their sufferings, and reminding them to 'seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness,'" he added.

"The Church has been given the unique mission to serve the Kingdom by spreading throughout the world the 'Gospel values' which are an expression of the Kingdom and which help people to accept God's plan," the Pope said.

"Indeed," he added, "it is this evangelical spirit which encourages even those of different traditions to work together towards the common goal of spreading the Gospel."